New drivers and teenage drivers in Pennsylvania are seeing many new changes come into effect after the passing of a House bill today. State representatives voted in the House this week to approve many changes to Pennsylvania's driving laws as they apply to teenage and new drivers. Some of the major changes that will take effect once Governor Corbett signs the bill into law (which he states that he intends to do) are:
-For the first six months after a new driver receives their license, they are not allowed to carry more than one passenger in the car if a parent is not present. After the driver has been accident-free for six months, the passenger limit increases to three passengers.
-For drivers and passengers under the age of 18, failure to wear a seatbelt will be made a primary offense. This means that a police officer can pull over a teen driver for not wearing their seatbelt, even if they are obeying all other traffic laws.
-The number of driving experience hours to receive a permit will be 65, which is a significant increase of the previous amount (50 hours). 10 of those hours must be night driving, and 5 hours should be in inclement weather conditions.
Inexperienced driving is a major component in many motor vehicle accidents. Teenage drivers are arguably the most likely group to cause a car accident, due to a lack of experience, a tendency to talk on their cell phones and text while driving, and distractibility by other friends in their vehicle. Our law office hopes that these changes in driving laws will lead to a decrease in accidents and will result in more responsible and experienced teenage drivers.